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On 1 July 2020 the NDIA changed the way that funding recipients structure their work supports to offer them more choice and control.

Bedford’s Transition to the New Employment Model (NEM), is a huge opportunity for our Clients to reach their goals, and gives them the ability to set and achieve goals they haven’t previously known. Clients may have increased access to new training and one-on-one mentoring, social programs, skills development in new areas, or potentially a move into open- or self-employment.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for Family and Carers of Bedford Clients

What are the New Employment Model changes?

From 1 July 2020, the NDIS have decided to fund employment supports as part of the Core budget in NDIS Plans. This means that everyone will have more choice about how they use workplace supports to achieve their employment goals.

Everyone has different employment goals, including the jobs they want and the type of work they want to do. It is important that everyone gets the support they need to reach their employment goals.

Why are the changes to the New Employment Model happening?

Under the previous systems, the funding for employment supports were in the Capacity Building budget of an NDIS plan. The funding amounts didn’t cover the costs of the employment supports provided to our supported employees. The New Employment Model (NEM) aims to fund specific employment supports to meet a supported employee’s goals and aspirations, giving them greater choice and control over their workplace supports.

The NEM means that funding for workplace supports will be more flexible, and the client can choose what to do with their funding, eg, trying new and different careers in other industries, if they choose.

When do the changes come into effect?

Bedford introduced the New Employment Model (NEM) on 1 July 2020, in-line with the NDIS’ changes to funding of workplace supports. Bedford is in the process of transitioning clients and supported employees who have employment supports as part of their Plan to the new model.

How does Bedford use the employment support budget?

Bedford uses the employment supports funding to provide one-to-one and group-based supports. Support includes things like:

  • learning new work skills
  • direct supervision by the support staff
  • off-the-job training sessions
  • making sure the environment and work areas are safe
  • buildings are easily accessed with ramps and easy opening doors
  • the way we talk and provide information is altered to suit using pictures and posters
  • non-face-to-face supports, like report writing, development of task breakdowns, or creating individualised support tools
  • connecting you to other services.
How does a program of support work?

As you probably know, Bedford does a Service Agreement each time a new plan has been developed. In the future, a Service Agreement and a program of supports will be developed by Bedford’s support staff with your family member.

A program of supports is a typical pattern of support. The agreed ‘Program’ means that Bedford can claim a regular weekly amount for delivering supports over a 12-week period.

Towards the end of the 12-weeks, each supported employee will be asked if any changes are needed to the agreed program of supports.

Providers can claim for unscheduled absences, as long as they had the capacity to deliver the support. Unscheduled absences include sick leave or failure to arrive at work, but not annual leave, public holidays, long-service leave or extended periods of sick leave.

Is the New Employment Model value for money?

The New Employment Model will give supported employees more choice and control over their careers.

Why choose Bedford for workplace supports – are we better off going to open employment?

The money funded under the New Employment Model (NEM) is for workplace supports – it doesn’t go towards paying a supported employee wages. The NEM will offer supported employees more choice and control over their own destiny; if they choose to go to a different employer, or go to open employment, Bedford will be able to support them in skills development and links with other disability service providers.

The New Employment Model will see program of supports tailored to each individual, based on their support needs and career goals.

How Bedford can help my family member move across to the NEM?

At their next NDIS Plan review meeting, the NDIS Planners or Local Area Coordinators (LAC) will ask your family member some questions:

  1. Where do they work?
  2. What jobs do they do?
  3. How many hours do they work each week?
  4. What help do they get at work?
  5. What new skills do they want to learn at work?
  6. What other jobs would they like to try?

Bedford will work with your family member to help get them ready for their next NDIS Plan review meeting, and provide them with the information to answer these questions about workplace supports. Bedford has developed two surveys to comprehensively answer these questions – Part A, known as the Current Employment Supports Survey, and Part B the Bedford Step Forward Survey.

The information we provide for Part A will help the NDIS work out what work supports a person currently needs. Information from Part B will identify a participant’s future goals and aspirations and help the NDIS work out the right amount of funding for their next Plan.

Bedford will ask your family member if they would like to meet with us to do the Step Forward Survey to help them prepare for their NDIS review.

What paperwork is required?

As you probably know, Bedford does a Service Agreement each time a new plan has been developed. In the future, a Service Agreement and a program of supports will be developed by Bedford’s support staff with your family member.

A program of supports is a typical pattern of support. The agreed ‘Program’ means that Bedford can claim a regular weekly amount for delivering supports over a 12-week period.

Towards the end of the 12-weeks, each supported employee will be asked if any changes are needed to the agreed program of supports.

Are we likely to see a Service Agreement with a higher amount for employment supports?

Under the previous system, the funding for employment supports were in the Capacity Building budget of an NDIS plan. The funding amounts didn’t cover the costs of employment supports provided to our supported employees. The New Employment Model (NEM) aims to fund specific employment supports to meet a supported employee’s goals and aspirations.

This means that future Plans may see a higher amount for employment supports, but this will depend on each person’s circumstance, goals, aspirations and support needs.

Currently Bedford are using the NDIS’ transitional funding arrangements in the NDIS price guide. This means that employment support invoicing remains the same, and is based on a weekly fee. In the future, the NEM employment supports will be funded by an hourly rate. Bedford will need to move to charging hourly-based employment supports before January 2022. Bedford will communicate when this change is going to occur.

What are we getting in return?

Bedford expects the New Employment Model will eventually result in better outcomes for supported employees, with greater choice and control over their career, and flexibility in their workplace supports.

Will this affect their Disability Support Pension (DSP)?

No, it will not. The money provided for workplace supports from a NDIS Plan is completely separate to their DSP.

Should we start looking at different options and alternative places of work and supports?

Where an NDIS participant chooses to work and who they engage to provide workplace supports is their own choice. However, the changes to funding supports apply across the disability employment sector – all employment support funding will change to the new model, regardless of the chosen employer.

Can my family member continue working at Bedford?

We will continue to provide employment supports, if supported employees’ goals are to work at Bedford and they have the right funding to support their career ambitions.

Will their hours be reduced or increased?

Under the New Employment Model there is potential for working hours to change. This will be an individual choice, based on each person’s support needs and their NDIS budget for employment supports.

What will be the impact on other parts of the Plan, eg, transport?

NDIS funding budgets may increase in other areas, if your family member identifies goals which are reasonable and necessary. It is important that they discuss with their Planner or LAC any goals and aspirations, and the level of support they require, to ensure the appropriate level of funding is received.

Who can help with the Plan Review?

Bedford will work with your family member to help them get ready for their next NDIS Plan review meeting and provide them with all the information to answer questions about the workplace supports. Bedford has developed two surveys to answer these questions – Part A, known as the Current Employment Supports Survey, and Part B the Bedford Step Forward Survey.

The information we provide for Part A will help the NDIS work out what work supports a person currently receives. Information from Part B will identify a person’s future goals and aspirations and help the NDIS work out the right amount of funding for the next plan.

Bedford will ask if your family member would like to meet with us to do the Step Forward Survey to help them prepare for their NDIS review.

To offer guidance on how to maximise supports funding, Bedford can also be present if clients chooseto have us at their next Plan Review meeting.

Each Bedford site has an allocated room for these meetings, so they can be held in a place that is familiar and comfortable to our clients. If you have a Support Coordinator they can also help prepare for, and offer support during, the Plan Review.

Do you have any questions, feedback or require further information on the New Employment Model? Contact Bedford's NEM Helpline via the channels below: